Minister of State at the Department of Transport with responsibility for Aviation, Hildegarde Naughton T.D. , announced today that she is providing almost €2.5 million in Exchequer funding to the airports of Donegal, Ireland West (Knock) and Kerry.
The allocations, which will go towards capital investment in the areas of safety and security, are being provided to each of the airports as follows:
AirportGrant Allocation (€)
Ireland West (Knock) 1,000,524
Minister of State Naughton said: ‘Today’s announcement honours commitments in the Programme for Government to deliver funding that will support services and ensure safety at our regional airports’. The Programme for Government recognises the value of aviation to economic development, international connectivity and tourism.’
The Minister of State acknowledges the difficulties being faced by the aviation sector this year and said ‘I am hopeful that this funding will help airports to deliver critical investment during this difficult period and to support them in planning for a time beyond Covid-19’. Between now and 2027 – the end of the current National Development Plan – close to €60 million is earmarked for capital investment at regional airports. Such funding will help airports to meet costs of vital safety and security related infrastructure projects and equipment and to ensure ongoing regulatory compliance in these areas.’
Minister of State Naughton added, ‘I understand the pressures that airports are under as they deal with the protracted impacts of Covid-19 and as they plan for recovery into 2021. In an effort to establish certainty in a very challenging environment, it is my intention to examine supports for regional airports over the coming weeks and to finalise a new five-year Regional Airports Programme in the autumn. I hope that this will give airports the assurances they need on Exchequer funding supports over the period between now and end 2024’. Today’s announcement reaffirms this Government’s pledge to leave no-one behind and to stand by the related commitments on regional development under Project 2040.
The regional airports also receive grant-aid for operational expenses on safety and security related activities. Invitations to apply for the operational grant schemes are issued towards the latter half of the year and, following the conclusion of an approval process, payments are generally made in the month of December.